Thursday, November 7, 2013

KW-I6T Disappointments and CCP Marketing

First off, yes, I was involved in the KW-I6T battle, coming in for the last four hours (covered at and EveNews24).  I’m not going to talk about the reasons behind it or the way the battle developed, but I do want to talk about experience-related issues.

Basically, the node appeared not to be reinforced, even though the battle was planned and major battles occurred at the same time of day for the past few days.  Lag was reminiscent of the pre-tidi times – and tidi itself was maxed the entire time.  At one point, I had a 5 minute delay between entering a command and it being accepted by the server. 

Let me give you one example of the experience.  Razor heard EMP was suffering problems with cash flow, so we figured that for every EMP carrier we destroyed, there was a chance we wouldn’t see that pilot in a carrier again for a long while.  We primaried one of their Archons and watched it drop to 73% armor… then stay there for 10 minutes.  None of us saw any changes in the Archon, and the reason ended up being because we were all desynched – our commands hitting the server.  I watched my guns keep 11 charges for ten cycles.  Only by unlocking and relocking the Archon – a process that took 10 minutes – did we see he had dipped to 11% structure, but during the 10 minutes when our turret fire commands weren’t being accepted, he caught reps.  He would have died if not for the horrible lag. 

Then CCP started punting clusters and trying to work their magic to speed up the node.  Myself and nearly every other player was kicked at least once – including the Titan pilot who was at the center of the whole fight, but he remained in space since he was bubbled.  Once I logged back in, the server seemed more responsive… for about ten minutes.  My command-delay was up to 26 minutes when the node finally crashed, disconnecting everyone in system.

After that, PL actively pinged its membership NOT to log back in.  Given how long the fight took and the lack of reinforcements, it’s safe to say PL saved their capital fleet – and several supercaps, including the Titan – because CCP is incapable of keeping its game running.  And it’s not the first time, either.

I have to credit CCP with trying to fix the node on the fly.  I really do appreciate that effort.  But they can’t rely on their on-call staff to fix problems that poor planning caused.  It’s unfair to those employees.  I have no doubt that those employees did everything they could.

But CCP needs to understand the frustration this causes.  As it stands, flying a Titan is perfectly safe… just crash the game by range-pinging for as many pilots as possible to enter system.  Hell, you can even invite them to shoot you.  It’d make no difference.

CSM member Ripard Teg posted his opinions about this whole situation, but I have to wholeheartedly disagree.  CCP promotes the game through player-run events like Asakai and KW-I6T.  They get press for these events, and that press generates buzz that has no doubt resulted in new subscriptions.  They use these events – which are entirely player-generated – to profit.  They build an expectation that Eve Online can deliver these sorts of events.

Which it can’t.  CCP proved that again in KW-I6T.  It’s false advertising as the game currently stands.

And I can’t get behind the argument of, “you brought x number of ships, which each had x number of drones… of course the game crashed,” either.  It shouldn’t matter how many ships, cargo containers, missiles, drones, or flying yellow submarines players choose to bring.  CCP promises a game that works under all circumstances CCP itself promotes within its marketing.  They aren’t delivering on that promise now.

Lest they forget… this is a sandbox game.  They opened that door… they can’t hide behind it when the equipment they’re using to host the game is insufficient.  Buy some more damn servers.  Boost the capability of the game to handle the things the players are doing to it.  I’m not an IT guy, but I’m also not on CCP’s payroll tasked with finding solutions to this problem.  I’m a customer, and I expect a product that performs as expected.

I’m fine with tidi.  It’s intended to help lighten the load.  Great.  Slow it down even further if you have to.  Just don’t allow the game to continue generating situations in which 10 hours of thousands’ of players’ effort is wasted because of a server crash for reasons that are known, but aren’t being fixed.

It’s not unreasonable for players to expect a company to deliver a product that works.  And “well, it works in 95% of situations” isn’t a sufficient response when CCP uses the 5% that’s completely freaking broken in its marketing pieces.


  1. peaking of cash flow, if you lost a carrier in KW-, send GRATH TELKIN an evemail ingame with your lossmail, and you will be reimbursed by him personally [Sent by Phreeze (#fleetcommanders to #capitals) at 2013-11-08 17:07:27]